Praying mantises are fairly common around our house in late summer. When I was younger, I was taught that you shouldn’t kill praying mantises, but I don’t remember why—maybe because they eat pests. In Korea, though, they are apparently thought of as being evil. An online Korean dictionary has this line in its definition for praying mantises (“samagwi” in Korean): “They live in grass fields in the summer and have a violent nature.” They do kind of look evil, though. This guy was starting to creep me out as I was photographing him. He just looks really pissed off, like he would rip my head off if he could reach it.
(21 August 2006)